HC Deb 12 May 1998 vol 312 cc91-2W
Mr. Barry Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how he proposes to create more jobs in rural Wales. [41491]

Mr. Hain

The Government aim to create job opportunities in rural Wales by attracting new investors and ensuring that indigenous businesses have access to comprehensive and effective support services so that they can develop and prosper in a vibrant and healthy rural economy.

Many small rural businesses looking to expand, but unable to take the initial risk of recruiting additional employees, will benefit from the employer subsidy available under the New Deal for 18–24 year olds. This, working in tandem with the Sole Traders Initiative, will encourage the self-employed to create new jobs. Others will be created under the self-employment route of the New Deal for 18–24 year-olds where young people can receive the support and guidance needed to set up their own businesses. A revamped Business Connect also means that new and small businesses now have access to the one-stop assistance they need.

The Welsh Development Agency (WDA) has consistently met its targets for job creation beyond the eastern M4 and A55 corridors and will continue—wherever possible—to encourage and steer industry to the more rural parts of Wales. The rural unit of the new enlarged WDA being established later this year will also provide the interface for a wide range of rural interests helping to stimulate the introduction of new and innovative approaches to economic development and job creation.